90% of Respiratory Infections are Viral & Antibiotics Do Not Heal


The indiscriminate use of antibiotics may promote the development of resistant bacteria. And, as mentioned by the Spanish Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (SEIMC) on the occasion of the European Day for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, ‘evil consumption of antibiotics severely compromises the effectiveness of treatment of infections produced by resistant bacteria which delays and hinders the patient’s recovery.’

Respiratory infection is the case, for example, in which 90% of the cases caused by viruses, but people were usually treated with antibiotics. As explained by Dr. Joseph Maria Cots, coordinator of Infectious Diseases Group of the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (SEMFYC), ‘the Spanish operate with the famous triangle equals fever infection and this is treated with antibiotics. And this is not so.’

Data show European surveillance network EARS-Net’s European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Spain is one of the European countries with higher rates of resistance to different antibiotics. And as noted by Dr. Jesus Oteo SEIMC member, ‘consumption, mainly counter consumption and use of leftover antibiotics prior treatment are important causes of the emergence of resistance.’

Therefore, ‘Patients need to know that they should never take an antibiotic if it has not been prescribed by a doctor’ warns Dr. Cots.

Thus, as Dr. Oteo concludes, ‘the prudent use of antibiotics i.e. take antibiotics only when necessary (for the treatment of bacterial infections and not viral infections), in the correct dose and duration can contribute to stop the development of resistant bacteria and help keep antibiotics effective in the future.’

The emergence of resistance not only carries a worse prognosis for patients. It also has important economic implications. In fact, explains the Spanish Society of Intensive Care Medicine and Coronary Units (SEMICYUC), ‘the complications that cause resistance health overrun Europe generates close to 1,500 million per year.’

And that as a result of improper use and the consequent emergence of resistance, ‘which might seem the ultimate weapon against bacterial infections begins to give evidence of a disturbing and increasing ineffectiveness’, laments Dr. Fernando Gordo, secretary of SEMICYUC.

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